You should know how to safely disinfect your devices. Your phone spends a lot of time in your hands, near your face and just in constant contact with germs. The pandemic put a stop to the physical connection with your friends, family and even work colleagues. Being stuck in lockdown, you were left with a whole lot of time for devices – including your phone, laptop, tablet, television remote and more – resulting in the potential spread of COVID-19 left in your home and an immediate need to remove any lingering germs.
Health experts from the Federal Communications Commission suggest you clean your devices – especially high-touch items – at least once a day as a preventative measure. A high-touch item is a frequently used device, and when you spent more time at home during the lockdown, these types of devices received more attention than usual and by more than one person.
At the beginning of lockdown, you considered full-body suits and top-shelf masks as a necessity while dipping everything in your house into bleach. You came a long way from sanitising every grocery item and sanitising until the texture of your hands compared to sandpaper. That phase seems like a distant memory, but cleaning electronic devices is not.
A lot of Android and other device manufacturers share similar advice to clean your device, starting with unplugging your phone before cleaning. It is in your best interest to use a damp, lint-free cloth that is covered in soap and water.
Do not spray cleaners onto your device and avoid any aerosol spray products or cleaning solutions full of bleach or abrasives. Keep your phone away from liquids and moisture when cleaning the device.
Disinfectant wipes are safe to use on your device, but some wipes contain alcohol, bleach or vinegar that can lessen the quality of your phone’s protective coating.
Cleaning a tablet is similar to when you clean your phone. Like a phone, a tablet has an oleophobic (fingerprint-resistant) coat. The manufacturers recommend it is cleaned with a micro-fibre cloth that is barely textured and has been in distilled water.
Cotton swabs can clean your tablet’s crevices, such as screen edges and buttons. An expert from PC Mag endorses 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or disinfecting wipes for cleaning your devices. The products wipe hard and non-porous surfaces of certain devices’ display screens, keypads or other exterior parts.
Bleach is not for tablets; submerging your tablet into any cleaning agents. A 99% isopropyl alcohol, distilled water, spray bottle, and a disposable microfibre cloth does thorough disinfection. The alcohol and water are mixed in the spray bottle. Remove your tablet from its case, sprits the fabric with the solution in the spray bottle and wipe your tablet. You can only use the microfibre cloth once and wash your hands when done. Put your tablet cover back on once the solution is completely dry.
Cleaning a phone charger is not an everyday task you hear people talking about, but with COVID-19 and all its variants, anything can be cleaned. A phone charger’s dirt is removed with a can of compressed air into the port in short bursts.
Your alternative option for a clean charger is to have it cleaned by a professional.
A keyboard, specifically for a desktop, is a common device used in the working world. Unfortunately, it comes with a lot of germs and is a haven for viruses. University researchers show that the average desktop is 400 times dirtier with bacteria than a toilet seat.
Another study reveals that the COVID-19 virus is still detectable on plastic and steel for three days. Viruses live longer on non-porous viruses, like a keyboard.
To clean your keyboard, unplug and shake it first. Afterwards, gently wipe your keyboard with 70% alcohol solution or disinfectant wipes. Do not use bleach on a keyboard, and keep moisture away from its open areas.
Earphones and headphones
Besides your fingertips tapping on a touch screen phone, headphones and earphones are also on top of the ‘germ list’ because of your sweat and wax.
A recommended way to safely disinfect your over-the-ear headphones is to use a damp microfibre cloth with a bit of water. To dry up the damp water, you can use a dry microfibre cloth.
Over-the-ear headphones consist of cushions and a headband too. Remove the ear cushions to clean separately by using a teaspoon of mild detergent, a cup of water and a cleaning solution. The same combination is applied to the headband and dried off with a lint-free cloth that has been dipped in water. The components will dry off on their own.
Earphones, such as all-in-one units without ear tips, are cleaned with a microfibre cloth. Use water and dampen a lint-free cloth to clean anything extra on your earphones, like lotion or food. Removing wax and dust from the head and earphones requires some elbow grease – specifically using adhesive putty rolled into a ball and lightly dabbed on the parts.
If you want to minimise your device’s exposure to germs and COVID-19, also have a safe place to keep these valuables. It can be in your pocket, purse or car.
On return from public places, use a sanitiser or wash your hands thoroughly before touching any device. When it comes to harmful bacteria, germs and viruses, it is best to act safely than be sorry for any unwanted incidents.